Stand with the Libyan Protesters who are being Mercilessly Massacred
Gaddafi is killing his people, he has taken JihadWatch’s Roland Shirk’s advice for a “Tienanmen Square option.” No one knows what the end game will be, how this will all end but we know Gaddafi is weakened, his regime is tottering on the edge, diplomats and military officials have defected from the regime. God protect the Libyan people, they are seeking justice, an end to tyranny, a chance to choose their leaders, and freedom.
Also, I want to mention that there are a number of loonwatchers in Libya and I hope that they are safe and sound. One more thing Loonwatch also supports those who are peacefully assembling and seeking Democratic and economic change across the Arab and Muslim world. Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran all are worthy of support and recognition. They are putting their lives on the line for a better future.
(All times are local in Libya GMT+2)
8.22pm: William Hague, British Foreign minister, said there are many indications that Gaddafi’s government is headed towards collapse, with diplomats resigning and the government in crisis.
8.20pm: The Brazilian Government called on Libyans to seek a solution to the crisis through dialogue and reiterated its repudiation to the use of violence.
8.18pm: Oliver Miles, the former British Ambassador to Libya, told Al Jazeera Gaddafi’s speech was “meant to make our blood run cold”. He said he would not rule out Gaddafi sticking it out to the very end.
8.15pm: Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal at Sidi Barani, a town on the Egyptian side of the border with Libya, said Egyptians were still returning home. He also said doctors carrying blood and other medical aid were crossing the border carrying supplies over into Libya.
8.11pm: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Gaddafi’s speech “very very frightening” and said he had declared war on his own people..
8.08pm: The Arab League put out an official statement condemning the events in Libya, but Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reported from Cairo that leading Egyptian political figure Mohamed ElBaradei said he was disappointed that the League did not take a stronger stand against the injustices.
8.02pm: In his defiant speech, Gaddafi said he will “cleanse Libya house by house” if protesters did not surrender.
7.59pm: Libyan state television is still showing pictures of government supporters following Gaddafi’s speech:
7:57pm: Libya is suspended, immediately, from the Arab League. More details to follow.
7:51pm: We’re expecting a closed UN meeting at 8pm GMT. Any UN member can attend – and the plan is/was for Libya’s Deputy Ambassador to also give a briefing. However, the surprise appearance of Libya’s ambassador – who has been remarkably absent in the past few days – at late notice could cause a problem, our UN correspondent tells us.
UN protocol suggests they would have to defer to the ambassador for a briefing, whose position is in sharp contrast to the deputy ambassador, who told us yesterday that Gaddafi should face trial. Ambassador Abdel Rahman Shalgam to an earlier press conference:
I am with Gaddafi but I want the bloodshed to stop. I am not calling on him to step down. If one Libyan has been killed – not ten or 20 – but one- this is a crime. Gaddafi is brave, he will make a decision. There is confusion – I have spoken to a relative in Libya and there has been no airbombing.
7.49pm: Reports from our contacts on the ground tell us military vehicles and helicopters are headed toward towns outside Tripoli. Jeeps started rolling immediately the speech ended, we understand.
7.46pm: Gaddafi called on “all those who love Gaddafi” to come out and demonstrate in his support tomorrow. State TV shows uhge crowds waving green flags and holding pictures of Gaddafi. Much as with the YouTube videos we’ve been sent over the past few days, with limited media access to the country, there’s no way to independently verify when or where the pictures were recorded.
7.44pm: More reports emerging of protesters, quite literally, torn limb from limb durnig the past few days.
7.34pm: In case you missed it – the backdrop to Gaddafi’s speech – a piece of artwork showing a clenched fist crushing a US fighter jet, in front of the words “Allahu Akbar” [God is the greatest].
7.30pm: After the EU suspends its Libya Framework Ageement, and amid international condemnation of Gaddafi, where is President Obama? Rosalind Jordan, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Washington DC explains:
You didn’t need the translation to see how much Gaddafi was trying to blame this on the US, among others. So the White House doesn’t want to make any public speeeches – they’re very aware of how that could be seen across the country.
Gaddafi asked, in his speech: ‘Do you want the Americans to come and occupy you like in Afghanistan and Iraq?’ If the president weighs in now, the Libyan authorities may well use that against the protesters.
US senator John Kerry wants the UN to step in – and for the African Union to investigae alleged use of mercenaries.
7.29pm: Analyst Ashur Shamis tells Al Jazeera: “There is no doubt Gaddafi will follow through on his threats against the people of Libya.” Looking over the past 24hours of our Live Blog updates, we’ve had some incredibly violent reports already.
7.27pm: Following Gaddafi’s speech, online reports of gunfire being heard throughout Tripoli.
7.25pm: Earlier on Tuesday, Al Jazeera spoke to Yasmine, a Libyan student in the UAE. She said she had spoken to a friend who lives in Benghazi:
As we were speaking, she said there was an old lady that just walked out onto her balcony that was immediately shot at and died. She didn’t do anything, she didn’t protest, she didn’t even open her mouth and she was shot immediately.
People are very very scared and they are still out in the streets protesting because everybody is angry and they are fed up and they want a change and they don’t want this guy to lead the country anymore, neither him or his sons, nobody wants them anymore.
They have been suffering for 43 years in silence. this is out of fear and now they have had enough. They are angry they are willing to risk everything, their lives, absolutely everything to get this guy out of the country.
7.21pm: Ashur Shamis a Libyan journalist told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi will go down fighting. He saidthere was no way the Libyan people would take note of Gaddafi’s speech. “I don’t think people are frightened anymore, but those were serious threats of force,” he said.
In his speech, Gaddaafi said “when they are prosecuted they will be begging for mercy”.
7.19pm: All eyes are now on the Libyan military. Will we see another situation as we did in Egypt? Tonight?
7.18pm: He offered a new constitution, to be put in place from tomorrow. Offers the pople “whatever form of government they want”.
7.16pm His main point was an attempt to blame “drugged youth” and foreign imperialists. He used the chilling example of the 1989 massacre at Tianenman Square: “The integrity of China was more important than those in Tianenmen Square.
7.14pm So, he’s not stepping down – and will “die a martyr”, he says.
7.12pm: Gaddafi’s speech has finally finished. He gets his hand kissed by a loyalist and waves to what appears to be about half a dozen senior officers still listening. State TV now showing thousands of people cheering…
7.07pm: Talking about Gaddafi’s address on state television, Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political analyst told Al Jazeera “we just watched a lunatic rant and rave for the last hour and a half”.
“There was no substance to this [speech].. There was really no message to this besides the threats”.
“The interesting thing is that Libya has no constitution but he has threatened the death penalty for people who fail to follow the constituion,” Jibreel said.
6.55pm: Carlos Latuff posted this image of “courageous Libyan people” on Twitpic:
6.52pm: Britain said it planned to send a charter plane to Libya to bring out British nationals and was dispatching a Royal Navy frigate to waters off Libya in case it was needed to help Britons.
6.50pm: French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Tuesday said he was “horrified by the explosion of violence” in Libya.
6.48pm: Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri reports from Tunisia that 4000 people crossed the border at Ras Jedir on Tuesday, according to Tunisian border police, the majority of them Tunisians.
6.45pm Social networks were a-buzz during Gaddafi’s speech on state television. Here are some responses recorded on Twitter:
Mona Eltahawy @monaeltahawy
The “head of the Popular Revolution” is being overthrown by the real Popular Revolution in #Libya. I love it. #Gaddafi desperation beautiful
Jeel Ghathub @Libyan4life
#Gaddafi doesn’t mean dignity
#gaddafi wants civil war. he wants #libyans to kill libyans
Shadi Hamid @shadihamid
If there was any doubt before, there is no longer: Qaddafi has unequivocally declared intention to massacre his own ppl #Libya
Libyan Dude @ChangeInLibya
Guys, can you see the irony? What he’s telling people to do is what is being done AGAINST HIM… What a madman… #libya #feb17
Ali Abunimah @avinunu
We can laugh, but never forget this is a sinister man who is threatening Libyans with even more massacres if they don’t do his bidding.
6.20pm: In his second television address since the start of the current unrest, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he will not leave Libya and will die a martyr. He criticised ‘Arab media’, saying it painted an insulting picture of Libyans.
Gaddafi says Libya has resisted Britain and the US previously, and it will not surrender now.
He also said:
Muammar Gaddafi is not the president, he is the leader of the revolution. He has nothing to lose. Revolution means sacrifice until the very end of your life
We challenge America with its mighty power, we challenge even the superpower
Muammar Gaddafi is not a normal person that you can poison.. or lead a revolution against
I will fight until the last drop of blood with the people behind me
I haven’t even started giving the orders to use bullets – any use of force against authority of state will be sentenced to death
They are just imitating Egypt and Tunisia
Protesters want to turn Libya into an Islamic state
If you love Muammar Gaddafi you will go out and secure Libya’s streets
5.59pm: Muammar Gaddafi gives a speech on Libyan State Television:
Watch Al Jazeera’s Livestream for more.
5.49pm: Qassem Najaa, a former Libyan airforce colonel, tells Al Jazeera that the country’s army has been oppressed by Gaddafi for years, and is now turning against him.
5.39pm: Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, says international sanctions against Libya will be inevitable if the country’s regime continues to put down protests violently.
5.32pm: Libyan soldiers in Tobruk told Reuters news agency that protesters are now in control of the city.
This map, posted on yfrog apparently shows other areas under citizen control:
5.28pm: Libyan anti-government protesters from across the UK have gathered outside Downing St in London. Protesters are angrily calling for Gaddafi to step down. One protester, Mohamed Maklouf, commented on the “hypocricy” of the West:
They don’t care about the Arabs, they don’t care about the Libyans, they only care about the oil.”
5.17pm Al Jazeera’s Cal Perry reports from Malta that the Italian navy is monitoring a Libyan naval vessel stalled in waters just off the coast of Malta. There are possible allegations that the vessel may have defected. More details are being sought.
“Malta has become a departure point and entry point for people trying to flee Tripoli [Libya’s capital],” Perry said, “As the situation develops, it’s also becoming a place perhaps where we’ll see more and more Libyan officials coming here to defect, because it’s just geographically close.”
5.08pm The Italian Foreign minister has condemned the events in Libya, saying: “I strongly deplore, all violence against the demonstrators and the deaths of civilians in Libya”.
I call for, as does the Council of the European Union, an immediate end to the use of force against the demonstrators. And I underscore that the Libyan authorities must respond, through dialogue, to the legitimate aspirations and demands for reform voiced by the people. A dialogue that must be open, full, significant and national, and which must lead to a constructive future for the country and for its people.
The country’s defence minister, Ignazio La Russa, has also denied the news reported on some blogs and social networking sites of alleged raids by Italian fighter planes in Libya. He said:
I can deny the allegations in the firmest manner. Somebody is clearly not aware of the ethics of the Italian Government and Armed Forces
4.58pm: Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political analyst, spoke told Al Jazeera the international community needs to take active steps in protecting the rights of the Libyan people.
“[Gaddafi] needs to feel the heat from the international community in one way or another,” he said.
He added that a no-fly zone around Libya was a good thing, but it was not enough. “We need troops on the ground to protect the people, and also to record what is happening on the ground.”
4.52pm: Libya’s side of the border with Egypt is in the hands of anti-government protesters. Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal at Sidi Barani, a town on the Egyptian side of the border reports that hundreds of Egyptians living in Libya continue to flee the country.
4.44pm Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is expected to speak shortly. Watch Al Jazeera’s Livestream for more.
4.25pm Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, spoke to Al Jazeera about the recent events in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, saying:
The events in each country have been up to the people of that country …
From the standpoint of determining their own future, of meeting their needs in the future, that is principally up to the people in each country”.
The US, as every country throughout the world, would look to how to engage to see how we can support this kind of change in a way that is meaningful, but it is up to the people of the country to make the decisions about their own future.
4.11pm Twitter user Carlos Latuff posted this image of Gaddafi “drowning in the blood of martyrs” on Twitpic:
3.50pm Mona Rishmawi, legal adviser to UN high commissioner on human rights, told Al Jazeera they were extrememly concerned by allegations of the use of “hired guns” against civillian protesters in Libya. She said intergovernmental bodies must show a united front and send a clear message that what is going on in Libya must stop right now.
Any measures taken to protect the civillians in Libya are very important at this stage … if there are planes, if there are snipers, if there are civillians being killed indiscriminately.. it has to stop.
… Allegations of gross violations of human rights, allegations of crimes against humanity are extremely serious.. I think it is very important for this situtaion to stop now.
3.40pm The Arab League is to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to discuss the unrest in Libya. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo, said Amr Moussa, the League’s secretary-general, expressed concern about recent events, saying the Libyan people have a right to sk for regime change.
The Arab League is made up of leaders from other countries, some of which are also experiencing unrest, including Yemen, Algeria and Bahrain. Tadros noted:
It will be interesting to see exactly how they word that bit of the statement regarding regime change.
3.38pm Sources have told Al Jazeera that the bombing from warplanes on Monday had targeted ammunition depots in Libya. The aim was to apparently stop protesters getting hold of weapons.
3.26pm Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said there is “widespread horror among the Libyan diplomatic core” about what is currently happeninig in the country, with many resigning and some even calling the government’s actions “genocide”.
Speaking about the resigned diplomats, Jordan said:
Certainly while they have been stepping aside from their official government roles, it is not clear whether or not they would be able to have any impact on events inside Libya, because if they are saying they now represent the people and not the Gaddafi government, it may very well be difficult for them to try to mobilise any sort of action on behalf of the people, other than from the images we have been seeing on television
3.01pm Libya’s ambassador to the United States has resigned from what he calls a “dictatorship” regime.
The Reuters news agency reported amabssador Ali Aujali, speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” saying:
Let me start by saying that I resign from serving the current dictatorship regime, but I will never resign from serving our people until their voices reach the whole world, until their goals are achieved
2:47 pm A YouTube video uploaded today shows Benghazi “after the victory against Gaddafi”:
2:11 pm The first report from the Egyptian border with Libya by Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal: